A project about migration, heritage and journeys created by Protégé students.

Introduction by Reihaneh

Reihaneh is a student and assistant at Protégé. She was a graphic designer before she had to leave her country Iran for making work about the government there.

She has been in England for 2 years and for the last few month Reihaneh has been working on the Containers Project:

“The containers can have different meanings. The obvious one which everybody knows, like for example a big box, or we can think more conceptually of containers as an experience of being trapped or unfree.

Containers can be way of transport for illegal immigrants travelling on hope for safety in dangerous ways, where they risk their life on the long journey.

The containers we are working with are old packaging or bottles, which are representative of the ones belonging to the Indian women who came to England in the 60s and 70s. For these women containers of luxury products were very precious and captured meaning and value in hopes of a better life.

We want to combine the different meanings and create art that tells a story about migration from different angles.”


The Matchbox of Hope

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The first container is a matchbox which was chosen by Jelena. She has a deep idea about hope. She explained that matches are like a spark of hope, so we changed the name from “Swan” to “Hope”. When you open the box you will see a light which shows you that hope is still there, even in a dark box. 

The Bottle of False Freedom

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The second one is a simple bottle of shower gel and was chosen by Sabita. She wants to put an origami bird into the bottle to show that the bird can’t fly far, even though it seems to be free. The bottle restricts the bird’s world to a small space, and even though this place is beautiful, the bird is not free to fly wherever it wants to.

The Tea's Journey

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The Tea box was chosen by Andrew. It caught his eyes immediately. His idea is to bend the metal and paint half of the box like a colourful shipping container and keep the rest of it real.

Of course tea has its very own story to tell about its journey from India and other parts of the world to the UK.

The Heritage Box

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The box was chosen by Sabita and she told a story about the Indian clothes box which was kept by Indian mothers for their daughters as an investment for their future. The clothes inside the box are very precious and meaningful to the mother and daughter relationship of mutual care and protection.

With passing on the clothes the mother also passes on her heritage and history, as well as her fortune to her daughter.

The Sardine Ship

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The sardine can caught Reihaneh’s eye in the supermarket. The design of this package is already relevant to our subject, it shows the dead body of the fish and the red sauce looks like blood.

Reihaneh’s idea is put some hands reaching for help inside the can. On the outside she wants to add some heads beside the sardine’s picture.

This container can be a reminder of the ships which carry people illegally as they try to reach safety and risk their lives.